How To

Oct 14

A Thousand and One Uses For Coconut Oil

Ok, so I don’t really have a thousand and one uses for Coconut Oil in this post. You wouldn’t read them all if I posted them anyway. I do love it though, we use it for tons of things around here.

We cook our eggs with it.

We cook other foods with it.

We use it instead of vegetable oil in recipes.

We put it in our smoothies (when we remember.)

The kids get a spoonful a day.

I’ve tried it as a moisturizer (though it’s not my favorite).

I use it in my homemade deodorant (yep it works).

I oil pull with it (when I remember).

I mix it with our essential oils.

But October 16th it came to my aid in an unexpected way. I had purchased a couple orange plates that had a pumpkin face on them for the kiddos (I think from Joann’s). Zekie ate his lunch and then in his usual after meal ritual he proceeded to squish his face/head/hair/ear against his plate. I honestly wasn’t playing a lot of attention, but when I looked up I noticed he had some really grimy looking spots on his face. I thought it was just food or dirt, but when I went to wipe it off it didn’t budge. Then I noticed the art on the plate was a bit smeared (high quality those plates were, yuck).

I tried a wet paper towel, a wet wipe, and was thinking I might need some alcohol or Vaseline, when I thought to give coconut oil a try. A tiny dab on a paper towel and that ink came right off with a few gentle swipes.

Coconut Oil should be a staple in everyone’s pantry. What do you use it for?

And in case you want more information that the FDA is backed by drug companies and not to be trusted, here’s how they are going after coconut oil.


May 14

Monkey Clothes

Yes, clothes for a monkey is what I’m writing about. This is categorized in the “things I never thought I would make” list.

You see Kingston has slept with “Monkey”, as he has affectionately been named (Kingston came up with that all by himself 😉 ) for a couple years now. I suppose Monkey had been complaining to Kingston one day about being cold, or perhaps mentioned he is embarrassed by always being in the buff. So Kingston the sweet boy that he is, took it upon himself to solve this problem, by dressing Monkey in either his diapers for bedtime, or his undies for the day. Problem was, Monkey is a tad smaller than K and those darn diapers and undies just kept sliding off.

Thus, I decided to take it upon myself to come up with a solution. At first I thought I would take some fabric I had and make up some undies and shorts. Then I thought I should do a search online for “no sew doll clothes”. As you can imagine, I mostly found dresses and skirts since boy doll clothes aren’t a hot commodity. But then I came across an article on how to make a dress and undies from a sock, and I knew I had a winner.

So I did what any good Mom does when she is in need of a supply for a craft project. I went digging through Daddy’s sock drawer and came up with the perfect pair for Monkey’s new clothes.

My first plan of action was to cut off the tube of the sock and make this Monkey’s shirt (Monkey has a large head, hence why I went with this side verse the toe as the pattern suggested). I slipped it over Monkey to get the right placement for arm holes and then cut holes for his arms to come through. Ta-da, Monkey has a shirt. And a slimming one at that. ;P

Next, he needed undies, obviously. I used the toe for his undies (instead of the heel like the other pattern, because Monkey also has a lot of junk in his truck and the toe gave us more fabric to work with. I cut it long because I wasn’t sure how much fabric I would need to cover his buns. Then I kind of eyeballed (this is an exact science you know :) ) where I thought leg holes should go and made two. I slipped them on over his legs and made a slit for his tail to come through, can’t imagine how uncomfortable that would be for him to have that bunched up in his undies all day. I marked where I thought the waist should end, took the undies off, and made one big cut around the waist (no granny pants for this monkey). Slipped those suckers back on and voila, perfect tighty, er, blackies for Monkey.

Not wanting to waste anything, I used the extra waist fabric for a headband for Monkey. He might of mentioned he hates when sweat gets in his eyes as he jogs.

There you have it. Now Monkey is fully equipt to run a marathon, or bust a rhyme, you know, whatever he feels like that day.

I’m also pleased to report Kingston liked Monkey’s new threads too. :)

Apr 14

What To Do With …
Dry Erase Marker Stains

For Kingston’s 3rd birthday he received a chalkboard/dry erase board combo easel from a friend. We had a few dry erase markers in the office that we weren’t using so I thought nothing of letting Kingston have them in his room to draw on his new board. They didn’t have any odor and they clean up easy right? Little did I know, dry erase marker also equals permanent stain.

Three marked clothing items later, I was frustrated the ink was not washing out, not even fading. It was laughing in my face in it’s full saturated color slash of glory. This is when I discovered water does nothing in the fight against dry erase marker, like literally nothing, the dry part of “dry erase” should have clued me in, but I needed google to spell that out for me. The following tests were then conducted with rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, dawn dish soap, hair spray, magic eraser, sunscreen and baby wipes. Fail, fail, fail, big fat fail. And you know it couldn’t have stained some old play shorts or an item I didn’t really like anyway, it had to be his nice shorts, the ones that were supposed to last through two boys and looked cuter than his cargo shorts.

In a last ditch effort to keep the shorts from being demoted to “messy activity shorts” I bought a small bottle of Murphy Oil Soap at Target. The kind that is supposed to naturally clean wood surfaces. I saturated the stained area and let it sit for 15 minutes or so with a towel underneath it and a paper towel in between the shorts. When I returned, I took a dry paper towel and blotted the stain and to my surprise ink started coming off on the paper towel. I repeated the blotting, moving the paper towel to a dry, clean patch each time until the ink didn’t come up any more. Then I repeated the saturating/blotting process again two more times. I followed this with a run through the wash, and I’m happy to report, all the ink didn’t come out, but you really, really have to look to see that. I bet if I had used Murphy’s immediately the stain would have completely lifted off.

So in the event you ever find yourself with this dilemma, I have already done the research for you. Also we now use the crayola washable dry erase markers. (As a side note: they are not really dry erase, if you use the eraser it just smears the ink around smudging the drawings but does not remove any ink. We actually use wet wipes to clean the board. Also, although they are called “washable” it is best if you wash the garments soon after getting this marker on them too. That’s an extra bonus tip for you. 😉 ) Happy drawing!

Aug 13

How To Store Breastmilk In Your Freezer

This post could be old news for some of you, but since I only in the last few months discovered this, I thought there might be others out there that could benefit from this little tip too.

While nursing Kingston I always stored my pumped milk in Medela bags. Although I have a Medela pump I only bought their bags because that was all that the store had when I went shopping for bags 3 years ago. Now there are at least 5 different brands and I currently have Nuk bags, I thought it would be annoying to have to pour my bottles into the bags instead of having them attached directly to the pump like the Medela bags, but it has not been a big deal at all, plus the Nuk bags are half the cost. It appears all the bags have mixed reviews and they are completely up to your preference though. Because most of the bags have a flatter bottom to allow you to stand the bag up, that is also how I froze and stored them in the freezer.

Then I came across this tip on that suggests laying the bags flat to freeze them and then store them standing up. I LOVE this new way! It takes up less space and they store so much easier. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before. They all line up nice and neat in the freezer in a disposable container from one of the meals people brought over after Zeke was born. The old way, the bags took up so much room and were always falling all over the place and getting out of date order in the container. This new way is tons quicker to grab a bag and go.

If you aren’t already doing it this way, you should change immediately, you will thank me, I promise.

Aug 13

How To Properly Wash Your Hands

Jeremy and I got into a discussion about the proper way to wash your hands. There seems to be a lot of discrepancies on the right way to clean them so in case anyone else is unclear, here it is straight from the Center for Disease Control. (

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

And in case you are a visual learner, here is a video.

How to Wash Your Hands Properly — powered by ehow

Running your hands under water doesn’t clean them, even when you don’t think they are dirty. Washing them before preparing food and after using the bathroom is VERY, VERY important. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one in four food-borne illnesses, among many other illnesses and diseases, are caused by unwashed or inadequately washed hands. That is your lesson for today folks! Happy scrubbing!

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